Goals from Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford sealed a memorable win against Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Erik ten Hag secured his first win as Manchester United manager in memorable style to pile further misery on Liverpool.
The Red Devils edged a thriller at Old Trafford – winning 2-1 after surviving a late fightback from their fiercest rivals.
But they were worthy of the three points with their most complete performance under Ten Hag to move them above Jurgen Klopp’s side and lift some of the clouds hanging over the club.
On a night when fans protested against owners, the Glazers, both inside and outside the ground, the Theatre of Dreams also reached volumes rarely seen in recent years.
Jadon Sancho fired United into a first-half lead with some trickery in the box and then an impudent finish. And they doubled their advantage in the second half when substitute Anthony Martial set Marcus Rashford free to sweep a shot past Alisson.
It was ultimately enough to claim a victory they absolutely needed.
Manchester United thought they were signing a player to get fans off their seats when they brought in Sancho from Borussia Dortmund last year. This was an example of what he can do.
He repeatedly got in behind Liverpool – but it was his showmanship in the box before firing United ahead that brought back memories of some of the club’s greatest wingers.
Wonderful composure to leave Liverpool shirts rooted, before the coolest of finishes.
Seemed to personally take it upon himself to make sure every United player was fully focussed and switched on.
It only raises further questions over Ten Hag’s decision to play Harry Maguire ahead of him in the opening two games of the season.
This was a show of real leadership. And exactly what United fans would have expected from a player they’ve been desperate to see in the starting XI.
Provided more intensity in the first 45 minutes than any United forward in the previous two games this season.
No one will have been more relieved to see him go off at half-time with an injury than Trent Alexander-Arnold, who he frequently had on the back foot.
Struck the post early on with a sweet shot that perhaps he should have done better with – but made up for that with his ball for Sancho’s goal.
On this evidence, Ten Hag will struggle to leave him out when fit.